Tom's Tech and Tidbits

Tom's Tech and Tidbits


Horicon Marsh Wildlife Spring Drive



MBCG members,

We had a great time on the Horicon Marsh Wildlife Spring Drive yesterday! Had some showers on the drive up and a few while on the tour. The only time it hampered our day was when we had a chance to go on the boardwalk onto the marsh for a nice walking tour. But the other parts of the tour were great and the pontoon boat ride could have not been better. And the lunch after was, well it seems we all kept going back for more!

(check out the flying bird video on our web site)

My thanks to Ray and Sarah Teschke for their hospitality and work planning the tour. They did a great job!

Shirley and I also appreciate the opportunity to spend time with the fun bunch of car people that attended! We are looking forward to the next time!

Next is June 19th at Sussex. Keep checking our web site for information.

June 19th - We will meet at the McDonalds in Lake Mills. Departure will be at 8:30am. A map is available on the link for the Sussex Show on . If you want a map just download the registration form and print it out.

June 25th is the next event. "Saturday in the Park" put on by the Road Apples. I have attached a registration form that is a much smaller file than the one they sent us earlier. Last year we won the award for the most represented club. I think we can do it again so we need to make sure they know who we are. Shirley will be working the registration table so let her know you are there.

Tom and Shirley



Zach's car is running


Hi MBCG members, Zach's car is running again thanks to a few members help. Dave Griffith drove down to Edgerton earlier this week and got it running well enough for Zach to feel he could get from Edgerton to Windsor. So this morning Zach turned in my drive shortly after 9am some missing and backfiring but a big smile on his face.

While letting his car cool to make it nicer to work on we got some coffee made and had a few minutes to talk when Dave Nordby pulled up. Se we got started figuring out what was going on with Zach's Midget. Wasn't long after we started and Dave noticed that the points weren't opening when the engine turned over. That caused some amazement and we wondered how the car ever ran. Turned out the lobes on the shaft were dry and had worn the tab on the points arm.

So I dug up some used distributor parts from my Midget and between the parts from Zach's and those from mine we ended up with one in pretty good shape.

Steve Blair and Zoe showed up a little after we started working on the car. So while Dave and I were working on the dizzy, Steve and Zach were inspecting and greasing the front suspension. So Zach ended up having a pretty good idea of what he needs to do and where to start to make repairs.

And he said his car has never run so well. I imagine after a new cap, rotor, and wires it will be better yet.

Thanks go out to Dave Griffith, Dave Nordby, and Steve Blair. Good Job!


Tom Smith


See everyone Wed the 11th if it rains we will have our regular meeting and if it doesn't there will be a drive. But let Dave know if you have a car ready, he would like to know if there will be enough for a drive.



Hi all,


That was a great day Saturday. Peter did a great job, lunch was very good, and it was fun to go over to Ron's shop.


Here are a couple things I promised to send Rich but thought others might like to know about them too. The first is Wisconsin Collector Car web site. This has the best listing of car activities anywhere. A great site to visit and explore too. hyme&calendar=2&category=0&m=5&y=2011&Itemid=68





My thanks to all


My thanks to all the guys that showed up for the tech session yesterday. I enjoyed having you all here and am grateful for the help getting the Midget brake and clutch systems bled and the brakes adjusted. The job I am most appreciative for is having the windscreen removed in prep for paint.

It was interesting seeing different ways to bleed a system. The bleed tool Jack B. brought was amazing. Watching the fluid rise in the master reservoir by pushing it in at the wheel cylinders was something I had never seen and worked very well.


I just realized that I have the Passport To Service booklet that came with my Midget. It indicates the first service was performed 4-3-74 at 1137 miles. The repair order is listed as well as the dealer's name. The dealership name is hand written and appears to be "Volker's Imports". I believe the dealer to have been in or around Grand Forks ND. Inside the back cover there is a small pocket and in the pocket I found a metal plate like was used in the old credit card machines. It has the name and address of the original owner, the vin number, and what I assume to be the date of purchase.

These booklets were evidently included with a new car. They included a voucher for a free 1000 mile service. These cars also came with a 1 year 12,000 mile warranty. The entire warranty is printed in a space 2-3/4" high x 2-1/2" wide. Although there is a short paragraph under it is a short paragraph with words like "applicable", "in Lieu of", "express or implied", etc.

I find it interesting that the "Owner's Responsibilities" Is a column of text 5-1/2" high by 2-1/2" wide. Twice the space used for the warranty.

Apparently this same booklet was used for other British vehicles as well as for the Midget. It has the "Minimum" Maintenance Schedules for Austin MG, Jaguar, Triumph, and Land Rover.


I will bring the booklet along to the meeting on Wed evening for show-n-tell.

And something for our calender. This just in from Tom Rhyme at the Milwaukee MG Group (MG3)... "... A visit to Worldwide Auto Parts on Saturday April 16th at 9:30 AM whichwould be followed by lunch at the bar nextdoor. Madison Mg club will also attend with us and we may have an afternoon session at one of their members garage nearby.( I am by way of my CC asking Rich Bogen to see how many of the Madison crew will be coming) I need to confirm with Peter Caldwell how many people to expect so he can set this up with the bar for lunch. We will be touring his operation to see how he does the shock rebuilds and other refurbishing."

I told him that we could expect 6-10 members from our club ( I'll make sure that he calls us by our right name!). Ron Stites has volunteered to let us tour his shop after lunch...he expects to have the Lotus done by then, and is showing off his TR6 V8 conversion.

Thanks again,



20th anniversary of the Madison British Car Group


Hi to all of you!

Before getting into MBCG club notes I thought you might like to see a Midget powered garden tractor. The guy said he broke some parts when he bumped the curb at 30mph. ---------

This is the 20th anniversary of the Madison British Car Group. Even though it is a little like the farmer and his old axe, when asked about the axe the farmer said he had for 25 years he replied he replaced the handle three times and the head twice, several of us think we should celebrate the occasion. So we need some ideas. Should we do one event or do something at several times? What should we do and whom should we invite? We also need a chair for the committee and some to be on the committee. ----------

Then there is the Fall Tour. This year it is our year to plan it. Here are some thoughts I have had. We could meet at our place in Windsor with the Milwaukee group. We could have some refreshments and our bathrooms for any wanting to use them. And then take hwy V and some back roads to Sauk City. Across the street from the Quick Trip there is a restaurant called Lystra's. Been there for decades, great food and a waitress, Jodi, that could get us in and out quickly but not hurried. Milk shakes to die for! Then head for Prairie du Chien on 60.

I have contacted the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce and they are sending some information of places to see, stay, and dine. There are several things to see and do on the way to Prairie du Chien. We can be tourists Friday afternoon stay there Friday night. Saturday morning we could do some tourist things while waiting for any that would want to join us on Saturday. Then we could either cross to Marquette and up to Lansing and cross back or stay in Wisconsin and head up hwy 35. Field glasses a good idea, easier to see the eagles. A stop at the locks by Genoa would be interesting And a detour into the hills and twisties might be nice. Maybe even work through the hills and over towards 131 up to Ontario. There is a very interesting history center on the way that is dedicated to the failed attempt to dam the Kickapoo Valley. Then we could leave Ontario and drive over Wildcat Mountain. I told Shirley that we will have to make some recon trips for logistics and she wanted to know if we could leave today. So my question is, would anyone be interested in going along on a few day trips this summer? Let me know if you are. ---------

Almost forgot, Dave Griffith is having the peal-n-stick club logo stickers printed. There will be one for each car in the club and a few extra. I don't remember the cost but I think it was about $2 each. So I will stop now. If this gets much longer some might think a book report is required!

Much to do before the driving season gets here. Tom



Madison British Car Group members!


The Holiday party last evening was a huge success!! I am sure Rich will give a full report in the next newsletter and maybe even provide photos for posting on the web site so I will just make a brief mention now. There was a very nice attendance and there was fun in abundance! A new tradition was begun. That being the induction into "The Order of the Bent Valve". The first inductee being Ron Stites for an obvious and widely known reason. The award being a plaque with the MBCG logo at the top, "The Order of the Bent Valve" at the lower portion with First Inductee under that and Ron's name at the bottom. Oh, in the middle of the plaque there is an actual bent valve mounted.

Then we moved on to some thank you gifts. Dawn receiving a selection of 6 varieties of homemade wines, I received a clock and not just any clock. It has a Lionel Train on it and when the clock hits the hour the train moves around the face while producing all the train sounds.

Then everyone was given a gift bag containing a Christmas ornament. On one side was the MBCG logo and the other side had "2010 Holiday Party"; "the Madison British Car Group" And someone got the smart idea to have one that was not like the others and that lead to more laughs.

I almost forgot; not naming names, someone got a framed document with something to do about needing a wrecker. Not sure what it was about but you might ask Judy! ;)

Judy had gone shopping and had some very nice gifts for everyone and those were given out in order of a number drawing. After that we had a gift exchange for those that had brought a gift to give.

And not to forget, the food was absolutely delicious.

Many thanks to Judy and Gene for all they did to make it a great evening and for the hospitality they showed! Also thanks to Dawn and Rich for the help they provided. And thanks to those that attended, you all helped make it a special time.

This coming Wednesday the 12th is the first meeting for the New Year. Last year there were many activities and we had a great time. I am sure this year will be no different. At least a couple of the things we did had some charity involved. Personally, I would like to see ideas of how we might do more. And not to forget, this is the 20th anniversary of the club. It has evolved in name and car brand emphasis and some of us think we should celebrate that success.

Shirley and I had a lot of fun last year. I enjoyed being President even though I was new to the Group. There were times when I wondered what I was doing but Dawn and others were very helpful and everyone was supportive. Or, at least, kind enough to not outright tell me I was out of my mind wrong.

To all, Thanks for a great year! Tom

(ed) Ditto from Dave and Nancy


Tom Writes in Dutch!


Stub axle.pdf Home


Website Down for a while

Hi All,

First, about the web site being down for a couple days, this is what happened and how it got back up. It goes back to when we were getting the site moved to the new server and transferring the domain registration. The site was successfully moved and remains on the proper server. The second part, transferring the registration was where the error happened. In order to make the transfer the registration owner had to release the rights, then the new owner had to submit the application to take over the domain as the new owner. With the application the new owner had to include their e-mail address so the registrar could contact them (us). The mistake was that the new e-mail address was not a valid address. Because of that when the registrar sent us an e-mail which we were required to return for validation of the transfer, it went to the invalid address unknown to everyone and because there was no reply to verify the transfer the domain was then returned to the original owner. All because of a typo!

So, we can be thankful that Kevin took it upon himself to help us out and sent in the renewal fee. He is again making the transfer, and again we are going to respond but this time we will use a good e-mail address. Only this time I will follow up until it is verified and completed.

It was an error by well meaning people and if anyone feels the need to complain please do it to me.

I understand the Christmas Party RSVP's are finding Judy and Gene, a party you don't want to miss! Saturday, December 11 Please bring a dish to pass and something to drink. Everyone who brings a wrapped gift, will take home a gift. 6:00 PM Gene and Judy Davis' House N7551 Newville Road Waterloo, WI

Something for the next meeting in January. Fifty years of Midgets - A Spridget Event JULY 18-22, 2011!!! Yes, I am a member here also. An interesting concept here, all members are presidents. We are looking for people to participate with their Spridgets. Also needed are people to help with the events. Would the MBCG like to support this event as a group?

Have a great Holiday Season,
The Prez,
Tom Smith



Fall Colour


Hi All,

First, we are all invited to join a Fall Color Cruise. Shirley and I will meet the Road Apples at Culvers in DeForest at 8:30am on Sunday. Hope to see some of you there to add some English flavor! Here is the note from Rachael (R/As)

"Hi everyone, on Sunday there will be a fall color cruise put on by the Baraboo Classic Cruisers and we have been invited to attend!! The cruise will leave Nishan Park in Reedsburg at 10 a.m. sharp!

It's supposed to be a beautiful day, the cruise is going to be around an hour long. I believe because they are ending at Richland Center.

If you are interested in going, we will be meeting at 8:30 a.m. at the Culver's outside DeForest off the interstate. We will be leaving promptly at 8:45 in order to get there in time. We'll go down the interstate, it will take about an hour to get there.

I've heard this cruise is a lot of fun, last year there were over 100 cars.

Let me know if you have any questions, and if you plan to attend so we don't leave anyone behind. Hope to see many of you on Sunday!! ~~ Rachael "


Our October meeting is coming up Wed the 13th, this next week in fact. Details on our web site.


The MG3 Group from Milwaukee hosted a great Fall Tour last weekend. For Shirley and I it was our first time taking part in this event and we had a very fun time. I had some allergy problems and couldn't quite figure out why. Then Shirley mentioned that it got worse when we drove past the paper mill. Duh, Birch and Ash. That afternoon and evening were tough but after 25 degrees and a good frost, see photos, it was much better the next morning. Next Fall it is my turn to plan the Tour and after getting a better idea of what is expected Shirley and I are already working on some ideas.

Also, give returning members Jay and Linda Olson from Sun Prairie a big welcome. Jay is trying to decide whether to put his MGB back together or sell it as is and buy one that is running.

So Sunday Tour and Wednesday meeting,
See you then,
Tom and Shirley



Triumph week


Shirley and I had a "Triumph" week. Monday we went for a ride through Portage, Baraboo, around Devil's Lake, over the Ferry, Lodi, Dane, Waunakee, and back home. We left after 7pm so we drove about half way under a beautiful starry sky.

Tuesday evening Shirley and I went to the Road Apples cruise night at Culvers in East Towne. As always a good time and we met some folks we had not seen for a while. Also talked to one of the guys that is an excellent auto body man and painter, he does beautiful work. He is going to look at my Midget to see what might be the best way to fix the dings suffered in 8 years of storage and the sins of the previous bodywork.

Wednesday was a Triumph free day, what a pity.

Thursday we attended Hot August Nights in Sun Prairie along with many of the Road Apples. We all wore our red Road Apples shirts and gathered to present a $1,000 check to the Dreamland Park. Apparently the woman we presented the check to had no idea what the amount was going to be, she started crying when she read the amount. We also donated $1,000 to the River Food Pantry. Not to bad considering the Boy Scouts did well and other vendors also. And all the awards and door prizes. The show participants paid $10 to show and the public got in free. So a lot of people had a nice day for a reasonable cost. Again, I was very proud of our MBCG participation. I am continually asked if those of you that came had a good time and I reassure them you did.


On Friday, Tony, a neighbor, brought his red TR4a over to show me. We met when Tony was in our area as a census worker and seeing our TR6 he stopped in to say hi. So Tony took me for a ride and let me drive his car back. What a treat! Brought back the memories of the TR4 I had in the 60's and it was great. Then I took Tony for a ride in our TR6 and let him drive it. He was also wide eyed and mentioned several times that it was much different than his TR4, especially when he pressed on the pedal. Possible new member here.


Saturday we took part in a "free" car show and 80 mile car cruise. The show was at the Lodi exit on 90/94 where the cruise started and ended also. Again a ride that was a combination of the drive we took on Monday and the route our MBCG tour took last month. Only many of the roads were different. Again, we were the only British car and we made a lot of new friends. This tour was led by a 1936 Oldsmobile convertible complete with rumble seat. Out of more than thirty cars the only problem we had was when a model "T" lost spark. But it was repaired and finished the drive with us. We stopped about mid-way for lunch at the Baraboo Country Club. We recommend that if you ever get a chance stop in to do so. The view from the dining room of the Baraboo Bluffs including the Bluffs around Devil's Lake is easily one of the most beautiful views in the State.

Sunday, today, we were going to attend Botham but the rain changed our plans, Bummer x 2! So we will just go for a drive by ourselves.

Tom and Shirley Smith





Is it ever going to stop raining, at least for a day or two? A few of us braved the weather Wednesday evening for the Devil's Lake/Ferry Tour. We had a nice drive and stayed dry although there were a couple times when it looked a little dicey. Steve and Zoe even left their hard top at home and went without a top. Actually it was a mixed bag with the clouds because of the threat of rain but it was much cooler than the 89 degrees forecasted. I believe Shirley and I were the only ones that got caught in the rain and that was after we were the last to leave Waun-a-bowl after lunch. We got caught in a downpour that even flooded some places in the road between Waunakee and Windsor.

Because it is such a nice drive and some of you might want to take it in better weather I will include the route notes. And for those that went, an update, Shirley's 93 year-old uncle Charlie just became a great-great-grandfather.


Last evening a little after 9pm Shirley and I took off on a top-down drive crossing the Ferry and around the north shore of Devil's Lake. Then up to the Dells and back home on 16/51. It was a little cool but we enjoy those night drives and figure the summer is getting short. The drive took about 2 1/2 hours.


There have been three nice tours this summer. We have one or two possible second-Wednesday's-of-the-month that might be good for an evening tour. Looking for a couple of volunteers to plan and lead them. Just contact Dave Griffith and let him know.

As I was thinking about the Wednesday drives the thought occurred, "Where did the summer go"? Then I wondered, "When is it going to get here"?

Tom Smith



Car Show


It was a great day for a car show yesterday and the attendance at the Road Apples "Saturday in the Park" show was proof. Our Madison British Car Group was well represented by several members and their cars. The MBCG banner was flying high, well under the eve of the sun tent, and there was good interest in our British cars. Not only did people appreciate our cars but it looks like we might have a new member from the show (he won an award for his Big Healey).

Capping off a very nice day our Group won 4 individual awards. And we won for having more members showing than any other club. That was a $50 cash prize. The MBCG members participating decided to return the cash to be donated to one of the charities. I talked to Rachael, The Road Apples president, after the show and she is going to pass the money on to the River Food Pantry. I am so proud of this Group and hope you are also. Too bad more could not have seen our members walking forward in front of at least a couple hundred American car enthusiasts to receive their awards and having the crowd applaud them the same as the others that won.


I believe Rich was taking photos and will be filing a report. We had previously voted to pay for the awards in the British Car class. That amount comes to $75 so I will be contacting Dave Nordby to provide a check for the Road Apples in that amount.


We, MBCG, made a lot of new friends, brought awareness to many that we also have serious collector cars, and found that we are included in the car community. Of course Shirley and I have known this for some time. We try to wave to all collector cars no matter of origin or brand and nearly always have had that recognition returned.

Keep the evening of July 14th open. Shirley and I are working out the plans for an evening drive, Over the River (the ferry) and Through the Woods (the drive around the south end of Devil's Lake). This much we know; we will assemble in Waunakee, and then make a loop and return to Waunakee and have lunch. The drive will be less than 2 hours. You might want to bring your cameras.

The best, Tom Smith



Thanks to Dave Griffith


for leading the group to Sussex. At least I think he did :) Shirley and I could not make it and even though there were encouraging signs our new granddaughter has not yet arrived. Hope those that went had a good time.

Shirley and I spent some time one day last week mapping a run from Waunakee to the ferry then to Devil's Lake, past the powder plant site, to Prairie du Sac and cross country back to Waunakee. The trip would be about 55 miles and take about 2 hours. We made it in 2 hours with a malfunctioning railroad crossing gate, a wait at the ferry, and driving under the limit all the way. Yes, you read that right! It is a beautiful drive and we can be back in time to get some lunch in Waunakee.

Please let me know if you would like us to plan it for a Wednesday evening drive.

The Saturday in the Park show is this coming Saturday, the 26th. Rachael sent me an e-mail to let me and anyone else know when those wanting to lend a hand should show up.


Hi there!
It's hard to believe our show is this Saturday already!!! I looked at the long range forecast and it looks good, let's hope nothing changes! :)
For those helping with the show, please be at Angell Park around 6:30 a.m. The gates don't open until 8 a.m., but we have lots of setting up to do beforehand.
The shirts we ordered should be here this week, we got a late start on that this year.
I really appreciate everyone helping, I'm expecting our show to be bigger and better than last year! Contact me with questions.
See you Saturday!
~~ Rachael


She also asks if those helping could wear a red tee shirt to help identify us to the participants and spectators. Shirley and I will be going over to the park Friday afternoon about 1:30 to help set up.

I am going to pull the spedo on my TR6 next week if it ever quits raining. It needs to be recalibrated. Would some want to make a tech session out of it to see what is involved in getting ready to send it in for calibration? If so let me know and what time might work for you.

All the best, Tom Smith



Syttende Mai.


Shirley is doing great! Knee replacement on the 6th and sitting in the TR6 today!

A fellow Midget owner adjusted his valves and wondered why he lost his idle. It came back after they were adjusted to .012" instead of .002". But I won't embarrass Steve by letting his name out.

Plan on adjusting the valves on the TR6 today and possibly the carbs and timing if time allows.

Got a spare set of bumper over-rider brackets from a friend in Seekonk, MA. Planning on using them to mount a trailer hitch for our little Colman trailer. See photo. (will paint trailer)

Road Apples Cruise Night on Tuesday evenings at Culvers East Towne. We start arriving around 6pm and many have lunch in the far table area. After her "test fit" today Shirley and I plan on being their tomorrow evening. Would love to see anyone that can make it.

Keep an eye on our web site for upcoming events and hope to see a good turnout for the Barn Quilt run on May 22nd. Check the site for more information.

Prez Tom

TR6 with a trailer




First a reminder that our last meeting of the season at Talula's is Wed the 12th of May.


Those wishing to join us June 26th at the "Saturday in the Park" car show at Angell Park a reminder to get your entry form in. it is only $8 ($10 after June 20th) and by entering early we can show as a group.

Looking for someone to bring something for "show-n-tell" on the 12th. Got a cool car trick or some new part, maybe an interesting tool, some historical trivia. Let me know and bring it along.

Have only been out with the TR6 since the last meeting but I have been working on the Midget. Some of the things include new seals and bearings for the rear hubs, ordered a new fuel tank and sending unit. Rebuilt shocks from Peter C. New shock links and axle bumps. Replaced the spring bushings and pads. Brake shoes and cylinder kits ordered. Getting ready to mount the new SU pump and Facet pump for backup. Found the DPO, emphasis on the "D", put in new brake lines and eliminated the hose at the rear axle, just used brake pipe. He even cut off the bracket on the body where the hose mounts.

Been getting familiar with Doctors lately. Shirley will have knee replacement Thursday the 6th. Her second in two years so we know the drill. I mentioned the possibility that I might have Parkinson's at the last meeting and that has been confirmed. The interesting part is that the doctor took a lot of interest in the problems with my legs and I am having some testing done. He seems determined to figure out what is wrong, after 30 years of dealing with the problem someone finally wants to figure it out.


Shirley will not be at the meeting but I plan on being there.

See you then
Tom Smith



Notes form the March meeting BCG and a couple of other things.

Well, I can say the March was an interesting month for the MBCG and my self. Shirley and I arrived a little early for the meeting at Talula's and found them surprised and confused. Seems they did not know we were coming. Except for one person being turned away before we arrived it turned out ok. I would like to know who it was and apologize to that person. I have called and verified our reservations for the April meeting.

Some members were out of town so the meeting was not as heavily attended but there were a couple faces I have not seen previously. Hope to see them again. Bring a friend.

To start the meeting we had two guests from the Road Apples Car Club. President Rachael McKenzie and car show committee chair, Tim Yamriska. They told of the Saturday in the Park Car Show scheduled for this coming June 26.

Rachael told of the charities that will be supported and invited us to take part. Both to show our cars and to help with the show for those inclined. To find out more, the Road Apples next meeting will be held on Monday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Culvers East Towne. (Normally Tuesday but had to be changed this time.)

Tim explained that we could help in a number of ways. One thing they need is to know what we would like to see for categories for our cars. The general consensus was to have one or two categories to see how it would work. Tim also said they could use help for things like judging, parking cars, and the many other things that need to be done. He did point out that for anyone wishing to help judge those people would need to participate in the practice judging that will be done on a couple of occasions at their cruise nights held at Culver's East Towne Tuesday evenings during the summer.

Shirley and I have been members of the Road Apples for a couple years. We are the only British cars in the club and have had a great deal of fun. Like the people in the MBCG they are fun and welcome us.

Check their web site and contact myself, Rich Bogan, or Dave Griffith with questions about the show. I hope to see our Group represented so also let Rich know who might attend. Show.htm"

This show is an opportunity to show as a club in a local place. We are welcome to put up our tent and hang our banner. It provides an opportunity to meet people and maybe pick up some new members.

The next business was to decide to order nametags. We decided to order the smaller quantity to not deplete our treasury too much. BTW, the treasury is now about $xxx.xx [WM] , but I don't remember the actual amount.

Steve Blair gave a short report on the plans to move the web site to a new server. The site has been fine, until Thursday, but it is now on a server controlled by a person that is not an active member and, I might be wrong, but may not be a member at all. The web site is very important to us and I am convinced we need to have a better handle on it. This is also true of the domain registration, which is in the same situation. This is being addressed with hope of a conclusion in the near future.

So, if anyone tried to access the web site a few weeks ago and happened to find it down. What happened was that the person having administrative responsibility pointed the domain to the new server. Unfortunately we decided to go with the offer that Steve Blair made and not the server that had been planned for the move. That server was not set to serve up our site. I was in contact with the person responsible for the domain he reset his server, I checked and have been back online. So, even though the person that has been responsible has taken care of us I do believe we need to step up and take care of this ourselves.

Shirts, I inherited several shirts with the old Madison MG Group logo. I asked for ideas of what to do with them. Got some interesting response to that question. Anyway, what was decided is for me to bring those that are left to the next meeting. There were seven, four were claimed at the meeting, which leaves three that I will bring to the April meeting and give those at the meeting the chance to take them, for FREE. Then any left are to be given to Goodwill. Believe me, this was easily the best suggestion that was offered.

Dave Griffith is also looking into a source for business cards. They will have information about the Group and a place to write or print your name, or make your mark. This is something we can give out for any reason, one being to "lure" potential members.

Dave Griffith is also the "chairman" of the evening drives for this summer. Anyone having ideas of where we can wander off too let Dave know.

Steve Blair hosted a tech session on the 27th of March. The plan was to rebuild the front suspension of his Midget. After talking to Steve it was mostly the dismantling part of the rebuild. I believe Steve will report his ongoing story.

One more thing about the meetings, I would like to see "show-n-tell" sessions. These would be just short, 10 or 15 minutes, presentations of some new part, tool, and accessory, a trip, or whatever. Kind of like when I brought my new horns a couple months ago. (The horns are now installed and can be demonstrated) At the last meeting I was going to present a short thing about gapping spark plugs and how the tool I have works. Unfortunately the meeting ran a little long so I will do that presentation next time. I would like to see others take part and bring something to show to tell about. Just give me a heads up so we can work it in.

And finally, this is not from the meeting, I have been working on a project concerning front wheel bearings for Spridgets. This has been going on for many months and has involved people around the globe. It has also resulted in enquiries being sent to at least 80 bearing manufacturers. This is the result up to now, thought you might be interested. After nearly a year of searching I finally found a source for the correct bearings and now have a set on our kitchen table. Where else would they be, right? I will document some details of the bearings and the installation process. That will include how to deal with the "loose" bearing problem some have found after replacing their bearings.

Hope to see everyone at Talula's on April 14th for the next MBCG meeting. Tom Smith President

HomeOld photo of Tom with his Triumph GT6

Tom's GT6

I had one of the first GT6's. It was numbered in the 200's, 247 or 249 seems to come to mind.

I remember falling for the pictures of the GT6 in the full page magazine ads and had to have one. At that time I was driving a pristine late '64 BRG TR4 with wires, leather seats and wood dash. Looking back, that TR was my favorite car ever.

Anyway, in a moment of weakness, I traded my TR4 for a 67 white GT6. It was sleek and very fast. It had a classy clean look with the good sense to not have chrome do-dads hung on every surface imaginable. I was smitten and not too concerned about the absence of that beautiful TR. After all, cars like that would be made forever, right?

Well, I went right out and started to have fun with the GT6. While negotiating some of my favorite curves I found out right away that the IRS acted much different in corners than my old solid axle TR. The GT6 wanted to plow into the corner and finally come around. This was unpredictable and felt really unstable. After a little experimenting I found that when I went into a corner hard that if I would make a quick over-steer I could set the GT6 into a 4-wheel drift and power through the corner. With that newfound knowledge I proceeded to have more fun than any one person is entitled to. Certainly more than I recommend now that I am old enough to realize how insane it was.

So the cornering problem was not only figured out but also turned out to be far better than the TR was. I have stories about the TR also. I used to hang with a couple of local circle track drivers and we ....... well maybe some other time. Getting back to the GT6, I had some dissatisfaction with the ignition system in general. It seemed to break down at higher rpm's and I never liked to set my timing with the static system. I always felt that was simply an approximation at best. So I replaced the coil with a Mallory and did some experimentation to find the best settings for dwell and timing. I used to tune the car, including the carburetors and valves, on a monthly basis and checked the timing every week. Excessive, maybe, but I ran hard, rarely under 80 mph.

This was a tough little car but running hard breaks things. I had to rebuild the rear end and the transmission each once. And the spedo needle fell off twice, yup, just fell off and laid there. I also had to do a valve job once. I had regular gas put in once by accident and it did not work well.

Then there was the time when I spun the splines out of one of the wire wheel hubs. The wheel turned off the spinner and passed me and went down the road a quarter mile on its own. That brought on a set of American Wheel 8-spoke magnesium wheels. Light as a feather and the handling was much better. Tires were a problem. There must have been some bad rubber produced those days. Tires just did not last. I had new Goodyear radials put on once to try them. A few quick weeks and 5,000 miles later all 4 were bald. I mentioned to my Dad that I was going to buy new tires and he said I should not buy Goodyear's again because they could not be very good. It was kind of funny, he never bought Goodyear's for the rest of his life.

In those days the Sunbeam Tiger had a reputation for speed and power. It seemed to intimidate to the point that it was not challenged often. Well.... Between the town where I lived and the town where Shirley, now my wife, lived in was a long hill. I knew that I could go over red line all the way down that hill. The tachometer worked out to 1,000rpm x .02 = mph. Red line was 7,000. Like I said, it was a long hill, not too steep, just long. Well, as I was leaving the town where Shirley lived a car came up behind me and passed. What do you know, it was a Tiger! Well I knew a run on the flat or up hill was in his favor. I also was being watched rather carefully by the police, never understood that. The Tiger tried to egg me on and I just drove the speed limit and pretended he was not having any effect. Pick the time and place, right. Well we kept getting closer to the hill and I even let him get a little ahead as we went up the hill. On top I started to position myself and as his taillights went out of sight when he went over the ridge I turned my GT6 loose. Well, I went by like he was parked. The race was over almost before it started. He turned into a spot of light in the distance so quick that I am sure he was stunned. Then his lights started flashing. I pulled over and he pulled in behind. He was in awe and wanted to know what kind of engine I had put in my car. He was amazed when I told him it was just the "little" engine that came stock. Then he asked me to join his sport car club.

I went through radar on top of that hill once. I actually did not see the State Trouper's car. I did not even know he was after me until I got to the bottom of the hill and saw his lights still back on top, about a mile back. Well, I pulled into a gas station around the next corner. I had the bonnet up and was "checking" the oil when he finally pulled in. He got out and walked around the car a few times like he was trying to figure the little car out. Finally he said, "I bet this little car really goes". I responded with, "Well, it keeps up with traffic pretty good". His face got red and he explained that he knew it was me and I knew it was me and that he could not do anything about it because he could not even get close enough to identify the car. He also mentioned that if there was a next time not me or my brother would be able to get me out of jail. I did not drive the GT6 much after that. It simply did not like to behave and I knew what would happen. I eventually sold it in 1976. But I did drive my 65 GTO that would pick the front wheels in 2 gears. But that is another story.

I now have a 76 TR6 and it is much better behaved, not perfect though! And the trooper must be surely retired by now!